One of the biggest issues that people with Alzheimer’s disease face is the inability to get an accurate diagnosis before they experience severe symptoms. Typically, doctors cannot tell if a senior has this degenerative brain condition until he or she shows obvious signs of cognitive deterioration. A study lead by Dr. Klaus Gerwert and Dr. Jens Wiltfang at the German University of Gottingen has created a revolutionary new way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s up to 15 years before the mental symptoms of the condition start. If proven accurate, seniors and their Alzheimer’s caregivers in Lincoln could properly prepare for the road ahead after a diagnosis.
The test works by detecting the presence of irregular amyloid beta peptides in blood or cerebrospinal fluid. Amyloid beta peptides are natural proteins in the brain that usually protect it from damage, but in patients with Alzheimer’s, these peptides accidentally get folded into a shape that causes the peptides to clump together, creating sticky amyloid plaques that cause damage to the brain cells. Previous tests for the presence of these irregular amyloid peptides, which start forming years before brain damage occurs, were expensive, inaccurate, and required exposure to radiation.
The German researchers created an infrared sensor coated with specific antibodies. If a senior has Alzheimer’s disease, these antibodies remove the irregular peptides from the bodily fluid and reveal them. When the sensor was tested with samples from 141 patients, a blood test produced an accuracy of 84 percent, while the cerebrospinal fluid analysis had an accuracy rating of 90 percent.
A patent is currently pending on this new method and the researchers hope that it will be available for the average doctor to use soon. They are also conducting another study with a bigger sample supply to further test the accuracy of the infrared sensor. If the method continues to work well, it could help doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s and provide preventative treatments before brain damage occurs. It will also give seniors more time to consider their options in terms of treatment, finances, and Lincoln home care.
The road after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging to walk alone, but it doesn’t have to be. Home Care Assistance provides comprehensive dementia home care Lincoln seniors can trust to help make life with Alzheimer’s or dementia easier. Our expertly trained caregivers offer personalized assistance with numerous daily activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking, nutrition, and exercise. We even supplement Alzheimer’s care with our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method to sharpen mental acuity, delay the onset of dementia, and exercise senior cognition. Call (402) 261-5158 today to learn more about Alzheimer’s home care and schedule a complimentary consultation.